Monday, June 28, 2010

Horse report...

Sera seems happy in her work ... walk, trot and CANTER! We kept the lesson light because she's been rested for 8 weeks. We didn't get into the small figures or collection. It felt like I was "home" to be back on her. I really, really, really love my red-head mare.

We discussed a couple shows in August... I hope things stay good and we can try some Second Level tests!! Fingers crossed!

My lesson on Rosso was also great... we didn't really DO so much as it was more of a thinking lesson for me and I completely dug it! I lunged him before I got on him like I always do.

Someone was loading their horse up to go home.. it was a big stock trailer and it was loud - lots of banging around...UP went Rosso's head... he hollowed out and began scurrying madly around on the lunge. He still listened to me insofar as his transitions... he'd trot, canter and walked when I asked.... but he looked a mess - quick, inverted, strung out, high headed, eyes bulging.

I accepted it cuz he was listening to me and changing gaits when asked. Nope it wasn't enough. I felt a little embarrassed since I've had this discussion with Rex before but maybe the light bulb was just a little slow to really be illuminated?

I've always thought of the lunge as a way to expel excess energy... and it is... BUT it is a really great tool that can be PRODUCTIVE. Rex discussed how you see horses running willy nilly on lunge lines across all diciplines. She says no, you won't tire your horse out on the lunge contrary to popular belief. If you use the lunge correctly, you will help to create a more fit horse. One that can do the work you are asking.

This we think will also assist Rosso... he gets nervous. When he is more fit, he will feel stronger and the work on the lunge will also help him feel more confident.... and to me it's also a submission thing. I can evaluate his mood before I'm on his back.

Rex had me get him balanced, get him round and get his attention back on me. I want him on the lunge just like he'd be with me on his back. So when he begins to looky-loo and go around all disjointed... what would I do were I on him? I'd get his attention on me, get him balanced and listening... get him round. (well after I stopped screaming that is... snicker)

Once he was going nicely, I got on him and there he stands... perfectly still... sniffs my toe... I pat him and tell him how great he is and I settle in... I wiggle around... and I ask him to move off. He does... quietly. (oh hooray!)

He is opposite Sera in his carriage. He carries his head very low. I am constantly struggling to keep Sera deep and going lower. It's very interesting to me.

He seems to relax more, chew the bit more, his ears relax and get a bit floppy the lower his head goes. Yes, he is probably over deep at this point, but this is where he needs to be right now.

His contact in the reins is even and steady... Rex confirms he is using his back. She asked if I could feel the relaxation and swinging through his back .... (uh? Through my clenched buttcheeks? No. I'll take your word for it! )

She talked about how Rosso uses his ears as radar. When he is going to get upset or freak out his little ears come together and point straight forward... it is up to me to get him paying attention to me any way I can... and I can tell some of his attention is on me when I get an ear or two swivelling back to me. Watch his ears.

When his head comes up like a giraffe, there is going to be trouble... I have to get him down and round WHEN I WANT HIM THERE NO MATTER WHAT is going on around us.

We practiced this with the next truck and trailer pulling in... as he gave some "looks" in that direction. He wasn't flighty or freaking out but he was looking... I practiced and he responded. It was really cool.

I enjoyed my lesson on Rosso in a huge way. Made me think things are just gonna be A-OK between us. Felt like I was thinking about him and how he goes and what he needs from me... really learning to ride this particular horse.

Anyway, it was cool and I was so happy all weekend long thinking 'bout my two nice red-headed OTTBs.


DebH said...

well...anytime that husband has time to take some moving shots? it would be greatly appreciated!!! I just love watching the horses in the ring go through their workouts....not a clue how they train them so well, but I just love watching the grace. Get that video up and running!!!! Sounds like it made your day and weekend!!

mommyrides said...

Yippee!!! Yah!!! Great job Shanster!!! Two great rides and all is well, life is grand and confidence is building!! Good for you and your red haired horses!!
"She asked if I could feel the relaxation and swinging through his back .... (uh? Through my clenched buttcheeks? No. I'll take your word for it! )" You totally cracked me up here!! My dressage trainer used to ask me the same cheeks were so tight though I couldn't even formulate an answer!!! My mare was acting all crazy the other day and my instructor was telling me to relax my legs and seat. The whole time all that's going through my head is "relax my seat, she's got to be kidding, relax my legs, I can't because my seat is clenched and my legs are sticking straight out from my seat!!!!" hee hee
Loved the comment about the ears too. I have owned two Arabian crosses, and both had black tipped ears. I could always tell how exciting things were going to get by how close together the black tips on their ears became. If they were almost touching it was time for me to exit stage left, before they did!!!
Great post, I'm riding tomorrow and I'm hopeful that it will be as great as your ride was.

Shanster said...

DebH - I'll work on 'im!

mommyrides - I know - it's SO hard to relax when your body is screaming RED ALERT! Hope you had a good ride too! It's such a journey... I know I still have a long, long way to go but I'll take every good ride I can get! I know I think about you sometimes when I ride and how you said sometimes a small twitch of their ear or something they do is magnifyed a million times!! It's so true! But we'll get it and when we do, it'll make us that much more proud of what we've accomplished eh? :)